Summertime: Time to Revitalize the Psalms Project

Fire Spirits Dancing Free by Annie B.

It’s summer! My favorite time of year because of all the fun things to do in the sun… Last week my brother was in town and we tried to do as many outdoor activities as possible: tubing on the river, swimming, rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking – you name it, I am game to try it! I enjoy the freedom I have to do these sorts of activities as opposed to when I was a serious ballet dancer, yet while I enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities and adventures, I do it all conscious of trying to keep my body active, but I know there is no way to stay in shape better than ballet class. Yet I have not taken a ballet class since April, and I don’t miss it, yet…except when I see pictures or video clips of ballet dancers in big companies and it makes me wistful…I think I am beyond regretting my change of course in career/ academic pursuit, but I cannot help the feeling of loss that is so great.

Yet it RETURNS to me – whenever I hear beautiful, wonderfully crafted music, all I can think of is dancing, and it floods my heart again… It is as if I have forgotten my first love, to dance, and when I hear instruments it suddenly returns to me. I wonder how I ever get through a day without dancing! I am much happier when I do…

One obvious step toward restoring my dancing  heart God gave me this past semester when I first put my own choreography onstage at the Koger Center for the Arts for the USC Dance student choreography showcase. That was April, and it seems so long ago now! I was so excited about choreographing and creating dance to the Psalms, but after the showcase I set it down to pick up again later. I need some consistency in my life! I need some discipline, some motivation to keep dancing, and creating…. I used to not be able to withstand a day without taking ballet class or dancing. Why have I let that fire grow so cold? I can tell you: life, work, school, paying bills, feeling alienated from the dance world… yes God in his goodness continues roll over the embers in me:

I am so thankful to Wendy Stone for giving me the opportunity to come back home and choreograph for The Performers, the pre-professional company based out of of Alwin School of the Dance that I grew up in. I usually visit once a year when I am back home in Albuquerque for the summer, but I don’t think I had a reason to visit last summer other than to say hello to Ms Karen, Ms Nation, and Tammie.  This summer I have a reason to visit – to continue my Psalms Project by choreographing a piece for the girls – but can I tell you how frightened I am by this?!  I am highly qualified, yet I feel inadequate because of my wanderings. I am nearly 24, and by this time could have had a substantial dance career, but I have had so many unexpected bumps in the road and life experiences that have altered my plans that I feel sometimes alienated from dance, when I should have draw closer to it – it is my most natural form of expression.  WAIT. I have drawn closer to dance, in different ways than expected. My body does not feel the tautness and suppleness of a ballet dancer anymore, but I have grown to appreciate and become interested in so many other dance and art forms that I was previously closed off to. They remain unexplored, but I have opened so many new doors. I would never have thought I would take an interest in flamenco or its cultural background, for instance. I am right where God intends me to be. Perhaps my experiences can translate better into a dance for these girls since I am not stooping down off my high horse to teach them to be just like me -no, rather I want to experience with them, and create something REAL and MEANINGFUL.

God, I want to transfer this newly acquired understanding of dance as something that is multifaceted, and always a part of you, no matter where your life leads, to these girls. Thank you for the opportunity, and continue to revitalize my passion for dancing and inspire me again with movement to create for these girls, and for Your glory. Let it be an experience for them to draw closer to their own unique love and passion for dance, and appreciate the body and the gift God has given them. I want them to enjoy dancing, and dance their hearts out – what a blessing that I can be a perpetrator of that joy…

Look for it in upcoming posts:

Psalm 147  by Sons of Korah

I found a video clip in which a missions team used the same song:

I will be heading back to NM to set the piece from July 26-Aug 1.

Praise be to God!